Coast Guard seizes 3.5 tons of cocaine in Caribbean, worth over $350 million

By Daniel S Levine,

The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Legare just completed seven weeks of deployment in the Caribbean, where it seized 3.5 tons of cocaine. The drugs were unloaded in Miami Beach and will later be destroyed.

The cargo is worth roughly $110 million, but has a street value of up to $350 million, reports the Miami New Times. The cocaine was seized in two separate incidents during Operation Martillo.

According to CBS News, the first incident happened on March 15, when a fishing boat off the Panama coast caught on fire. There, they found 97 bales of cocaine floating in the water.

Only a few days later, the Coast Guard stopped a ship in the Caribbean that was believed to be controlled by drug dealers. The suspects were sent back to Colombia to face charges, while the Coast Guard took the drugs.

"In this case we were successful in finding two drug smuggling vessels using our capabilities, in particular our air use of forces, to stop the drug runners and to recover that cocaine," Capt. Brendan McPherson told CBS News.

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